The 2020 Summer Reading Guide is here!

It’s one of my favorite days of the year: the ninth annual Summer Reading Guide is here! If you subscribe to our emails, it should already be in your inbox. (If you subscribe and don’t have it, don’t miss the “notes for subscribers” below.)

I’m as excited as ever for this year’s guide, but I can’t deny it—this year feels different. Instead of packing up crates full of books to take on our annual family beach vacation, I’m stacking my highly anticipated reads near the front porch, where I anticipate spending many warm summer nights. It hurts to cancel plans, but I’m looking for silver linings in my favorite place: the publishing calendar.  

Here at Modern Mrs. Darcy, we’re all in favor of some literary escapism, because reading on the front porch with a cold glass of iced tea is one thing that is NOT cancelled this year. This summer is shaping up to be one of the best publishing seasons I can remember. We might not be able to read on a sandy beach, but there are hundreds of great books to transport us to a different time and place. 

The 2020 Summer Reading Guide is here!

We always say that summer’s too short to read books you don’t enjoy, and this year it feels especially important to enjoy our reading lives to the fullest. We’ve created our best summer reading guide yet to help you discover the books that are perfect for you—whether you love getting lost in historical fiction, need a thrilling page-turner to keep your attention, or crave a beachy, frothy read for complete escape. 

Once again, I’ve read literally hundreds of new releases to prepare this year’s guide, and compiled my 30 (or 42, more in a sec) favorite summer titles in one compact, user-friendly guide. Every book here has earned its spot, and I’ve personally read them all, front to back. I can vouch for them, and answer any questions you have. In every description, I give you the information you need to help you decide if that book sounds like a good fit for you.

The 2020 Summer Reading Guide is here!

Plus, for the first time ever, we’re also releasing an expanded guide for Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club members and What Should I Read Next Patreon supporters! The expanded Summer Reading Guide includes an extra dozen summer reading titles, behind-the-scenes peeks at the making of the guide, backlist book recommendations, and more.

We’re releasing this bonus content as a thank you to our community members—and besides, there are just SO many amazing books coming out this summer, and this way I get to include a few more of my favorites. I hope you enjoy the expanded edition as much as I enjoyed creating it.

The 2020 Summer Reading Guide is here!

The Summer Reading Guide is a gift to our subscribers, but if you’re not already a subscriber, have no fear. Sign up below to get the guide delivered to your inbox. When you sign up, we’ll also send you regular bookish updates.

A couple of notes for subscribers:

  • If you’re a new subscriber and don’t get the guide within a few minutes, check your spam folder and your promotions tab.
  • If you still don’t have it, do not leave a comment here. Please email [email protected] and we’ll get you sorted out. And please be mindful that 95% of support requests are due to a reader inadvertently marking our emails as spam, and it requires two real people—one on our end, and one on our email providers’—to correct this mistake.

If you would like the expanded edition of the Summer Reading Guide, sign up for the MMD Book Club or WSIRN Patreon to get immediate access to that edition (available on the Book Club dashboard and as a recent post in Patreon). Stick around in Book Club for exciting bookish events all summer long, and stay tuned in Patreon for bonus episodes on all things summer reading.

Readers, I hope you find a book (or twelve, or thirty!) you LOVE on this list.

If you find something great in the Summer Reading Guide, would you spread the book love? Share on your favorite social media platform or with your favorite bookish friends. Our official hashtags are #modernmrsdarcy and #mmdsummerreading. (Follow me on Instagram at @annebogel and the podcast at @whatshouldireadnext for summer reading goodness all season long.)

Happy summer, and happy reading!


Leave A Comment
  1. Allison says:

    I look forward to this every year–and this year doesn’t disappoint! I was surprised to see that I have read a couple of the titles already. Great minds think alike.

    Thank you!!! This is better than Christmas!

  2. Hilary says:

    I really enjoyed the unboxing and receiving the summer reading guide a little early (Patreon). I can tell you all put a lot of thought and effort into it and it’s much appreciated.

  3. Adrienne says:

    Woo hoo! Several of these were already on by TBR list, but I’ve added several more from new-to-me authors. Thank you for putting in the herculean effort to bring this guide to us.

  4. Wow! Love it. This Tender Land is still in the running for my favorite book of 2020. I’m hoping there’s an audio of Clap When You Land–I LOVE her reading her books [that isn’t always a given with an author. I just started Jane Austen Society. Love your guides!

  5. Kirsten Anderson says:

    This is just great! Thank you for putting all of this information together. I didn’t know Marisa de los Santos had a new book out, and I’m thrilled! Just love her! And, one of the older books just made it’s way into my Little Free Library. #littleyellowlibrary

    • Anne says:

      I read a ton of nonfiction in anticipation of including it in the guide, and that’s not the way things shook out. (Believe me, as the author of a nonfiction spring release, I had a vested interest in creating a nonfiction category!) I’ll feature those nonfiction books on the blog this summer, and I’m sure I’ll eventually discuss them on What Should I Read Next.

  6. Caitlin Bootsma says:

    I look forward to this every year. I’m an avid reader, but love expanding out of my normal genres. Last year, I read almost every single one – thank you… queueing my Overdrive hold list now!

  7. Hooray! I look forward to this every year, and I was pleased to see that this year, I’ve actually read a decent amount already (or already had my holds put in at the library!). With the rest, I was able to finalize my summer reading list, which I just started doing last year. It was a fun way to keep my reading organized, and it gave me titles to look forward to all season! (You’ll also be happy to know that I’m giving the Cerulean Sea one a try because of your description–I almost never read fantasy other than HP, but you made it sound so fun!)

    Here’s my reading list for this year (along with a shout-out to you, Anne!):

  8. Mary Sheriff says:

    So many wonderful recommendations and such a variety. I heard Natalie Jenner speak recently and was intrigued by her book. Your recommendation solidly lands it on my TBR. Thanks!

  9. Donna says:

    Eeeek! I look forward to your Summer Reading Guide every year! I am just about to place an order with my neighbourhood bookstore for curbside pick-up. Definitely adding a few of these to my list. So sorry to hear that Julie Buxbaum’s new one has been delayed. I read Tell Me Three Things on your recommendation and it’s one of my absolute favourite reads. Stay safe!

  10. Allison says:

    I look forward to this guide every summer. I have to say, though, that I just had to DNF Code Name Helene. I’m so disappointed. You give us warnings when a romance is “open door.” Your suspense/thriller section–which we know are, well, suspense and thrillers–says to mind your triggers. Yet, you gave absolutely no warning about just how graphic the violence is in this book. My stomach is so turned by this book. I actually returned it to Audible. Please, if you are going to recommend a book with scenes this graphic, give some sort of warning. I trust your book choices, so I was taken off-guard by how awful the scenes were in this one.

  11. Caren says:

    Hi I love your emails and book reviews and have been using your reviews to help me select books to read during the summer for the past 4 summers. I’ve received your email announcing your summer picks but I don’t see a link that I can access. Can the list only be accessed now for a fee? Please help! I am eager to get reading!

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